Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ZooNews Digest 16th - 20th May 2009 (Zoo News 594)

ZooNews Digest 16th - 20th May 2009 (Zoo News 594)

Peter Dickinson

Dear Colleagues,

The first link is going to be like a kick in the gut for all those involved with Orangutan rescue in Indonesia. They are struggling to cope with the number of animals they have already. Space is at a premium. Where are they going to put them all? Zoos are not in a position to help...well not if they end up performing in shows or for photographs in places like Bali, Pata, Phuket or ending their days in horrific confinement in similar to Manila or Ranugan....I wonder just where we are up to solving the Ranugan problem? It is all very dismal and doom and gloom because I really don't believe if we all shouted "Stop!" at the same time it would make any difference. It is money that shouts loudest of all.

A huge seizure of elephant tusks in the Philippines. Great! Success! We caught some smugglers. But so sad really when you think how many elephants died. I am happy to report that the few sets of tusks I spotted in Bangkok last week are to be investigated.

I liked the link about the first lion cubs being born in Blackpool Zoo in 25 years. I do think the press could have made more of the story. It is not as if Blackpool could not have bred a thousand lions in the same period but they chose not to. The present breeding is a planned, responsible reproduction unlike some collections I could name.

I hope when Seneca Park Zoo Hosts their visiting White Tiger that the educational material which surrounds the exhibit tells the visiting public that keeping and breeding White Tigers is a pointless exercise and contributes nothing to Conservation. As far as I am concerned this is the only reason to display them.

The dispute over Knut's money actually twists a knot in my stomach. This is not what zoos are about. It is not in the spirit of things. It is NOT what animal loans are about. If some legal ruling comes about as a result I hope it is not to detriment of the furtherance of European breeding programmes. Other than transport costs between collections there must/should be NO money involvement whatsoever.

Collection A lends animal(1) to Collection B. Animal(1) mates with animal(2) and produces animal(3). By prior agreement the two Collections will either have whole ownership of first or second young.As Collections A and B each already each have two of the species they do not want or have space for animal(3)once it is weaned. So animal(3) moves to Collection C.Here it starts to get complicated because any young will belong to 3 or even 4 collections. Each will 'own' a leg! This is how it should be. Animals should eventually all 'belong' to all members of the Breeding Programmes. Cut out all this greed and stupid argument.

Delighted to see the Ravens have once again bred at the Welsh Mountain Zoo. I always had a soft spot for them.

I have written two Hubs this week:

Dusit Zoo in Bangkok Thailand


A Psoriasis Cure You May Rather Not Know About
okay you may think the second one has nothing to do with zoos...but it does!

Visit my webpages at:

Hubpages are brilliant, quick to create webpages which can earn you a small passive income from day one. Read my "Quick Guide to Hub Construction." I truly believe it will be worth your while.

My friend Ian returned to the UK on Sunday after staying a week with me. Great fun. I really enjoyed his company and the change in routine. As they say, a change is as good as a rest.

This Weeks Books of Interest to the Zoo Professional

On with the links:

Ape rescue forest to be logged
AN INDONESIAN paper company is planning to log an area of unprotected jungle which is being used as a reintroduction site for about 100 critically endangered orangutans, activists said on Monday. A coalition of environmental groups said a joint venture between Asia Pulp & Paper and Sinar Mas Group had received a licence to clear the largest portion of natural forest remaining outside Bukit Tigapuluh national park on Sumatra. The area is home to about 100 great apes that are part of the only successful reintroduction programme for Sumatran orangutans, the sub-species most at risk of extinction, the coalition said in a statement. It is also a crucial habitat for the last remaining Sumatran tigers and elephants left in the wild, it said. 'It took scientists decades to discover how to successfully reintroduce critically endangered orangutans from captivity into the wild,' said Peter Pratje of the

P50M worth of elephant tusks seized
The Bureau of Customs (BoC) has intercepted some P50 million worth of elephant tusks, which a local importer tried to smuggle from Africa through the Port of Manila, the chief of the Customs police said Monday.Chief Supt. Joey Yuchongco said the elephant tusks were stacked in sacks inside a 20-footer container van which itsimporter, 210 Enterprises, had abandoned at the South Harbor since March 1.Yuchongco, the concurrent deputy director of the BoC's Enforcement and Security Services, said they received information that the container steel van had illegal cargo.The registered importer, he said, declared that the container van was loaded with blow moulding machines from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania."When we checked on the abandoned van last week, we were able to confirm that it contained

Swedish park opens polar bear breeding ground
A Swedish wildlife park has opened a 10.5-acre (41,000 square-meter) enclosure as a breeding ground for polar bears.Polar bears Ewa and Wilbaer became the first two residents Monday of Polar World at the Orsa Gronklitt park in central Sweden. They came from zoos in Rotterdam and Stuttgart, respectively.Chief executive Torbjorn Wallin says he hopes they will mate and increase the park's population.He says there is room for up to 15 bears in the park, which also plans

Chemicals in Dragon’s Glands Stir Venom Debate
The Komodo dragon is already a terrifying beast. Measuring up to 10 feet long, it is the world’s largest lizard. It delivers a devastating bite with its long, serrated teeth, attacking prey as big as water buffaloes.But in a provocative paper to be published this week, an international team of scientists argues that the Komodo dragon is even more impressive. They claim that the lizards use a potent venom to bring down their victims.Other biologists have greeted the notion of giant venomous lizards with mixed reactions. Some think the scientists have made a compelling case, while

Zoo's first lion cubs in 25 years
A trio of female lion cubs have become the first to be born at a Lancashire zoo in 25 years. Blackpool Zoo said lioness Gillian and her triplets were doing well and were now on view to the public. The lioness and her litter are being kept separate from the rest of the pride until

Minn. Zoo demonstrates importance of 'bear-proofing'
The Minnesota Zoo’s three grizzly bears demonstrated the importance of bear-proofing campsites Saturday as part of ‘Bear Awareness Week.’ Zookeepers setup a mock campsite inside and let the bears—named Sadie, Kenai, and Haines—into the exhibit. Within seconds, the bears headed straight for the tent and a food-filled backpack hanging from a tree. The three-year-old bears ripped the tent apart, ate the food inside and later ripped the bottom of the backpack so all the food items dropped to the ground.The Minnesota Department of Natural

IUCN Red List for birds is updated
On 14 May 2009, the new Red List update for birds was published. Set up by Sir Peter Scott in 1962, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plants and animal species. It evaluates the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies. The aim is to convey the urgency of conservation issues to the public and policy makers, as well as help the international community to try to reduce species extinction.BirdLife International's latest evaluation of the world's birds, on behalf of IUCN, has revealed that more species than ever are threatened with extinction. A staggering 1,227 species (12%) are now classified as

Wolves return to zoo after 16 years
A pack of wolves will return to a zoo after a 16-year absence.Three male European wolves, named Dalls, Puika and Ilknis, have made their way from the Highlands to Edinburgh Zoo.They have been transferred from

Celebrities support Monkey World memorial walkway
A MEMORIAL to Monkey World founder Jim Cronin has attracted celebrity backing. Support for a Walk of Thanks – a trail of paving slabs which will eventually run around the Wool park – has been forthcoming from Jonathan Ross, David Walliams, Matt Lucas and Ainsley Harriott. Now Dr Alison Cronin, widow of Jim, who died from cancer, has launched the first section of the trail, where those who donate are awarded a personalised slab. Alison said: “I always knew

Winnipeg zoo hopping to keep baby kangaroo alive outside mother's pouch
Staff at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg are hopping to keep a baby red kangaroo alive after it was expelled from its mother's pouch. The four-month-old female weighed only 560 grams when it was found lying helpless on the floor of the kangaroo enclosure a few days ago. "As far as the veterinarian could discern, something probably spooked one of the kangaroos ... and this is typical when something scares them like that in the wild," explained zoo curator Robert Wrigley. "They'll eject the

Phoenix Zoo halfway to $20M campaign goal
Zoo officials said they have raised $7 million and have expect to soon hit the $10 million via pending donations.CEO Bert Castro also showed off construction progress Friday on a $1 million Komodo dragon exhibit that is being funded through the campaign — specifically, via contributions from the Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation.The zoo also plans to build $3 million

National Zoo Still on Panda Pregnancy Patrol
Could May be the month The National Zoo becomes home to a new baby giant panda? There are some signs that have the zoo staff crossing their fingers, and roughly 60 volunteers tracking the panda Mei Xiang every move. ABC 7 reporter Kris Van Cleave went behind the doors of the closed Panda House for an up close look at the National

Quincy resident’s life is a zoo
At 2 p.m., when many people are slumped in their work cubicles counting the minutes, Quincy resident Siobhan McCann feeds the gorillas.The 28-year-old senior zookeeper stands on the rocky ledge above the Franklin Park Zoo’s Tropical Forest exhibit with a large bucket of chopped oranges, carrots, apples and celery stalks, then scatters the apes’ lunch around the habitat.The gorillas, including two-time escapee Little Joe, climb up from their nooks and down from their branches to dine.“They don’t eat the same thing in the wild every day, so we don’t offer the same things,” said McCann, who also co-chairs the Zoo New England Enrichment Committee.And no day is the same for McCann, who cleans exhibits and feeds animals like Mulder, a capybara. The capybara, the world’s largest rodent, looks like an oversized guinea pig and is found in South America.Talking about her job, McCann said, “There’s a lot of labor involved, but it’s fun labor.”The California native began working at the San Francisco Zoo when she was 14, after her mother urged the shy teen to get involved with the zoo’s teen volunteer program

The Mitsubishi Corporation Fund for Europe and Africa announces its funding programme for environmental and developmental charities in 2009
Following its annual meeting of Trustees on the 6th April, the Mitsubishi Corporation Fund for Europe and Africa (MCFEA) has announced a program of £350,000 in new grants, including a 2-year grant to FARM-Africa, an initial 1-year grant to the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and support for the Zoological Society of London's new Animal Adventure Exhibit at London Zoo. The 2009 funding programme also includes continued support to Bird Life International’s "Spring Alive" project, to promote children's interest in nature and conservation through tracking the arrival of migrating birds in spring; to Concern Universal, for a project promoting the economic empowerment of small-scale agricultural producers in Guinea; to Fauna and Flora International, to promote environmental capacity building in Romania; to Peace Parks International, for sponsorship of natural resource management students at the Southern African Wildlife College; to the Regional Environmental Centre for Central & Eastern Europe, to improve education in conservation and biodiversity for local school children

Building Gorilla Haven - A former Chicago-area couple plow their wealth into building a temporary home for zoo gorillas
There is hardly a day out of the year that Jane Dewar doesn't eagerly hop in her car and drive out to spend time with two of her dearest friends. ¿ The trip is short -- a few hundred bumpy yards from her century-old, back-hills farmhouse -- but it takes her to another world. On the way, she enters through a gate flanked by a 9,000-volt electrified fence that she and her husband, Steuart, put up to keep out strangers and bears that might wander into the 324-acre forest that they own and where their friends live. ¿ Jane Dewar, a witty woman with flyaway blond hair, pulls up first outside a high, reinforced-concrete wall with windows in it. On the other side is a three-level "villa" surrounded by a nicely landscaped, 2-acre yard. This is home to Joe, an African

Seneca Park Zoo hosting just one white tiger for summer
A pregnancy will keep one of two white tigers expected to be visiting Monroe County’s Seneca Park Zoo this summer home.County Executive Maggie Brooks announced today that the zoo will be the temporary home for just one male white tiger this summer.In announcing the zoo’s 2009 visiting summer animal earlier this year, two white tigers had been identified for the exhibit.“We have been notified that the female white tiger, which we had expectedto accompany the male white tiger, is pregnant and unable to travel,” Brook

NEW Zoo Tortoises Walk to Summer Home
The big marathon is tomorrow, but the race was on between the two tortoises at the NEW Zoo this morning. Tootie swept past Al, her competition and crossed the finish line in record time, 9 minutes! Of course, the race had it's purpose. The tortoises were moving from their winter home to their summer home. The zoo is fundraising right now to build

Zoo celebrates Migratory Bird Day
The city celebrated the return of migratory birds Sunday as people flocked to the zoo to check out the Migratory Bird Day events.This year's theme is "Celebrating Birds in Culture."Experts from the Anchorage Bird Treatment and Learning Center were at the Alaska Zoo on Sunday to show off rehabilitated raptors and educate people about birds."We have a lot of activities for kids where they can make crafts, there's games, there's live birds from Bird TLC so you can get up close and personal," biologist

If You Knew Susi: Barcelona's 'Sad Elephant' Flap
Admittedly, Susi looks sad. Her skin droops, and her dark eyes seem a little teary. She's said to occasionally rock back and forth with apparent anxiety. And then there are reports of her eating her own feces. But does that add up to mental illness? Determining depression, let alone among nonverbal members of the animal kingdom, is always tricky business. But such is Susi's plight that the Queen of Spain and a famous writer have weighed in. And so now, the question about what to do with Barcelona Zoo's star,8599,1899422,00.html

Soldiers build polar bear's home
A team of territorial soldiers, usually charged with building army bases in Afghanistan, is making a home for the UK's only polar bear.The 75 Engineer Regiment are working on a four-acre enclosure for Mercedes at the Highland Wildlife Park, Kingussie. Mercedes is moving from her current home at Edinburgh Zoo later this year. The regiment, which has centres in Warrington, Stoke-on-Trent, Birkenhead and Failsworth, is involved through Military Aid to the Civil Community. Costs cutLt Col Henry Ricketts, Commanding Officer of 75 Engineer Regiment, said: "As Royal Engineers, it is vital for us to keep on top of our construction skills. "Moving from north-west England

Early skeleton may shed light on primate evolution
The nearly complete skeleton of a small 47-million-year-old creature found in Germany was displayed Tuesday by scientists who said it would help illuminate the early evolution of monkeys, apes and humans. About the size of a small cat, the animal has four legs and a long tail. It's not a direct ancestor of monkeys and humans, but it provides a good indication of what such an ancestor may have looked like, researchers said at a news conference. Because the skeleton is so remarkably complete, scientists believe it will provide a window into primate evolution. The animal was a juvenile female that scientists believe died at about nine or 10 months. "She tells so many stories. We have just started the research on this fabulous specimen," said Jorn

German zoos row over Knut profits
Two German zoos are locked in a legal dispute over Knut, the polar bear whose dramatic first few days of life in 2006 made him famous around the world.Neumunster Zoo, which legally owns Knut, is demanding a share of the profits he has made for Berlin Zoo, where Knut was born and remains today. They say Berlin has offered to buy Knut from them but that the price offered is not high enough. A court in Berlin has ordered the zoos to settle their dispute by 13 June. Neumunster Zoo loaned Knut's

Knut the polar bear at centre of Berlin court battle over £5.3m earnings
A bitter row over the fortune of Knut, the celebrity polar bear, reached the court room today with two furious zoo directors trying to hold on to the revenue from the world’s highest-earning quadruped. The atmosphere in the packed Berlin court resembled that of a high-powered divorce case, with lobbyists and society reporters scrambling for space and thrusting microphones in the faces of lawyers. “This case is quite unprecedented,” sighed Judge Philip Hegermann. Knut was born under difficult circumstances in December 2006. Rejected and left to die by his mother, Tosca, a retired East German circus bear, keepers had

Budget cuts to close some Dallas Zoo exhibits, but officials expect most animals won't have to move far
The Dallas Zoo won't be spared from the city's budget troubles, but the announced loss of 19 zoo exhibits probably isn't quite as dire as it sounds, officials said Monday. Many of the animals in those exhibits will be moving, but only to another part of the zoo, said

Zoo Funding Threatened
In the worst-case scenario, Connecticut's only zoo could be forced to close down
Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport is threatened with the loss of at least $400,000 of its $3.2 million annual budget. The shortfall in funding could reach as high as $1 million, a loss Director Greg Dancho says the zoo probably could not survive."The problem is, we can't save that much money," said Dancho, director since 1983. "Increasing gate [fees] is not the answer. I'm already at my threshold. You become unaffordable to most of your target demographic."Beardsley is Connecticut's only zoo, and one of 217 zoos in the nation accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Dancho says his target demographic is families with young children, so he tries to keep the price

Flu fears, rains buoy Cambodia rat exports to Vietnam
Stir-fried or grilled, Vietnamese can't seem to get enough of Cambodian rat meat, and the global influenza outbreak as well as recent heavy rains have proven a boon for both consumers and exporters.In Chrey Thom, a Cambodian town on the border with Vietnam, motorbike after motorbike carries wooden cages full of hundreds of the plump, furry, brown rats.The rains in the Mekong Delta area have helped boost the Cambodian trappers' catch, as more rats rush out from their

Seven new raven chicks born at Welsh Mountain Zoo
STAFF at the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay are celebrating the birth of seven raven chicks.Ravens – from the crow family – usually lay between three and six eggs so the births come as a big surprise. This is the first time that seven eggs have hatched successfully.The new arrivals have been named Gruff, Gwil, Gwyn, Gareth, Nia, Nerys and Nesta to mark their Welsh roots.The National Zoo of Wales has been breeding ravens for more than 25 years.The bumper brood is particularly unusual because the chicks are only the second time that parents Megan and Maddox have bred despite having been together at the zoo for six years.A spokeswoman said: “Due to the sudden

Mysore zoo to host exotic simians from Czech Republic
Zoo in Mysore is gearing up to host a variety of endangered and exotic birds and simians like Ring Tailed Lemur and Capauchin Monkey to be acquired soon from Czech Republic. In return, Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Garden in Mysore will give a family of endangered Spot Billed Pelican to Zoo Zlin Czech Republic under animal exchange programme.Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has recently cleared a proposal to send ten-winged beauties--two chicks, five adult females and three males from the Mysore zoo to a foreign zoo.Giving details, a CZA official said two pairs of adult Red Necked Wallaby, a pair of Ring Tailed Lemur, two male Capuchin Monkey and a male and two female Lesser Rhea besides two pairs of Military Macaw will add attraction to the Mysore zoo.Confirming the go ahead to exchange the animals by the CZA, an official in the Mysore Zoo said, they will soon complete the basic formalities such

Rare baby anteater wows zoo (nice Video)
Rare anteater birth takes place at a safari park in Israel with plenty of visitors



The Zoo Biology Group is concerned with all disciplines involved inthe running of a Zoological Garden. Captive breeding, husbandry,cage design and construction, diets, enrichment, man management,record keeping, etc etc


The 7th Annual Turtle Survival Alliance Symposium on Chelonian Conservation and Biology
August 5th - 8th, 2009
St Louis, Missouri
For details on membership, registration, program and events, please visit our website at



John Reagan has recently published a document on the first results of a series of interviews with zoo directors who have been directly involved in attracting major external funding for their sites ( St Louis, USA; Leipzig, Germany; Adelaide, Australia)

If you are interested in reading this please go to


Endangered Species Recovery

20th July – 7th August 2009
A short-course for anyone with an active interest in animal conservation and a desire to learn how species can be saved. Lectures will be given by world class conservationists. Practical activities and behind the scenes experiences in Durrell’s animal collection will provide participants with first-hand exposure to the realities of endangered species recovery. On completion participants will be equipped with a fuller appreciation of the complexities of animal conservation and an ability to develop their personal or professional interests in the field.
For further information please visit (get involved menu, select training)Or contact Catherine Burrows at:


Volunteering OpportunityElephantstay at the Royal Elephant Kraal Village, Ayutthaya ThailandPlease check for additional information.


Announcing the ASZK Des Spittall Scholarship for Keeper ResearchNamed in honour of the late Des Spittall, a life member of ASZK, the ASZK committee has launched the Des Spittall Scholarship for keeper research. This is open to people who have been a financial member of ASZK for 12 months or more. This is an annual scholarship up to the value of $2,000. Applications close 31st October 2009Please forward ‘Des Spittall Scholarship for Keeper Research’ application to ASZK President no later than 31st of October each year at email



For Latest Zoo Vacancies Visit:

Some Vacancies are only placed on:



PAAZAB Conference
May 20 to 22 2009
Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, Entebbe, Uganda
For further info please contact:

International Conference on Diseases of Zoo and Wild Animals 2009
20th - 24th May 2009
Safaripark Beekse Bergen, Hilvarenbeek, The Netherlands Contact:

Conference of the Association of Latin American Zoological Parks
May 25 - 29 2009
Panama City, Panama
For further information:

The 9th International Conference on Environmental Enrichment.
31st May – 5th June 2009.
Torquay, Devon, UK
Please go to
For more information

"First African Symposium on Zoological Medicine"
July 18th and 19th 2009.
Johannesburg Zoo, South Africa.
Financial assistance available for vets from other African countries.
For more details contact Teresa Slacke on

Professional Training Seminars at Shedd Aquarium
Animal Training Seminar with Ken Ramirez
Environmental Quality Seminar with Allen LaPointe
August 24 –28, 2009
Please contact the adult programs coordinator at for more information

Zoo Atlanta, USA

AZA 2009 Annual Conference
September 12-17, 2009
Oregon Zoo

26th EAZA Annual Conference
14 - 20 September 2009
Copenhagen Zoo, Denmark.

3rd International Congress on Zoo Keeping and the 36th American Association of Zoo Keepers National Conference
September 24th - 29th 2009 The Puget Sound Chapter of AAZK and WoodlandPark Zoo
See these websites for further information:

CBSG (Conservation Breeding Specialist Group)
1-4 October 2009
St. Louis, MO, USA (right before the WAZA Meeting)
For further information:

64th WAZA Annual Conference
4 - 8 October 2009
St. Louis Zoo at the Renaissance Grand Hotel, St. Louis (MO), USA.
For more information, please visit

Second Okapi Workshop
11 14 October 2009
Antwerp Zoo
For further details go to:

2009 ZRA Annual Conference : Overview
October 21-25, 2009
Zoo Boise , Boise , Idaho
If you have questions about the 2009 ZRA Annual Conference Program, please contact the Program Chairman, Pam Krentz, Registrar for Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, at (216) 635-3361 or by email at

The Bear Care Group announces the second international bear care conference 'Advancing Bear Care '09.

The 6th European Zoo Nutrition Conference
Barcelona, 28-31 January 2010
Please send comments or suggestions for topics/speakers directly to me ( Further announcements and information will be posted online via the nutrition area of the EAZA website (

20th International Zoo Educators' (IZE) Biennial Conference
19 - 23 October 2010 Disney's Animal Kingdom, Florida, USA.
For more information, please visit

International meeting of collectors of zoo literature and memorabilia
Internationales Treffen der Sammler zoohistorischer Literatur
Rencontre internationale des collectionneurs de documents en rapport avec les zoos
See here for more details:

7th International Penguin Conference
DATE: August 30 to September 3, 2010
LOCATION: Boston Massachusetts, USA
HOSTED BY: The New England Aquarium

AZA 2010 Annual Conference
September 11-16
Houston Zoo, Houston , TX

AZA 2011 Annual Conference
September 12-17
Zoo Atlanta , Atlanta , GA

AZA 2012 Annual Conference
September 8-13
Phoenix Zoo, Phoenix , AZ

AZA 2013 Annual Conference
September 7-12
Kansas City Zoo, Kansas City , MO


ZooNews Digest is an independent publication, not allied or attached to any zoological collection.

Many thanks.

Kind Regards,

Wishing you a wonderful week,

Peter Dickinson

Editor/Owner ZooNews Digest

Owner/Moderator Zoo Biology

Tel: United Kingdom ++ (0) 750 3707 968

Mailing address:

Suite 201,
Gateway House,
78 Northgate Street,
United Kingdom

"I may get hit by a bus tomorrow so I will live today"

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